This morning it was in the mid-twenties after the first serious frost. The beauty of the woods warranted quoting a line from this poem in my title. The only line I dispute is the one about “leaves sinking noiselessly.” They rattle ceaselessly, actually, making it sound like the woods are trying to flutter up and away en masse before the snow falls.
The yellow-rumped warblers were coming through, snatching bugs from leaves and branches.
I heard a whole flock of crows sounding the alarm about something, but aside from the warblers and a few chickadees, I didn’t see much.
I investigated a trail I haven’t walked in awhile and discovered it was almost impassable because of the uprooted trees, courtesy of a strong storm maybe a month ago. It was interesting to try to trace the path of one particularly large oak that had torn limbs off one tree and knocked over another on its way down. It lived a life of influence — and died the same way.
There’s a certain quality of brightness to the fall sunshine that I look forward to. I think of Wendell Berry’s line of poetry in “Clearing” about vision with “severity at its edge.” That’s what the light reminds me of this season — it makes things starker and reveals the contrasts.
I need the seasons.